Analytics Education = Out with the Old, In with the New

Having spent the last 5 years talking about analytics here in the Philippines, it seems we are finally at a place where a significant percentage of leaders and decision-makers are now aware that they need a good analytics strategy for their business to succeed.

Now that we are finally at point where people in power get, we have another challenge. Just because they get it doesn’t mean they know how to enable it.

In fact most of our current solutions to educate and train when it comes to analytics seems to be a bit old fashioned. Analytics evolves much faster then traditional education models can keep up with.

In fact, most people learn analytics on the job. Some attend public trainings. A few receive practical experience while in school. Very few learn in vocational or apprentice like programs.

Almost all the training is done in person, with an expert teaching in a classroom setting.

Most of the training is done by talking theory and doing some exercises on mock data.

Due to data privacy issues, few companies allow employees to get up skill training while using their own data and towards solving real business problems.

To compound the challenge, there are a precious few analytics experts to go around to meet the surging demand for analytics education and training.

When I do the math… 500,000 Filipinos need analytics training in the next 5 years to ensure we can deal with the wave of digital transformation the world in undergoing.

So now what?

It’s easy to say online training is the solution. And it is part. But just filming a training and reshowing it loses a lot of the impact. When learners aren’t engaged they struggle to absorb most of the content.

So live online classes that have an interactive ability are key.

Harnessing the power of YouTube and looking at things like TED talks give us some ideas.

Formal corporate trainings can be supplemented and eventually superseded by meet-up groups and more informal learning sessions.

Formal education has to transition more from the class room and to on the job.

Right now, students spend 90% of their time in classroom and less then 10% on the job working with real data solving real problems. Many schools struggle with educating on analytics topics because they don’t have qualified professors.

Lets flip that around. Let the subject matter experts working in the field do more of the education in the workplace.

That’s just three ideas; Interactive Analytics Talks, Optimizing Meet Up Groups and much more dynamic On the Job training.

What else can we do to shot for the moon?

Dr. Data_Analytics in the Philippines

Analytics Training – DMAIPH offers a wide range of analytics centric training solutions for professionals and students via public, in-house, on-site, and academic settings. We tailor each training event to meet the unique needs of the audience. If you need empowerment and skills enhancement to optimize the use of analytics in your organization, we are here to help. Contact DMAIPH now at analytics@dmaiph.com or connect with me directly to set up a free consultation to learn which of our DMAIPH analytics training solutions is best for you.

Has the Philippines BPO Industry Lost It’s Edge?

Just read Tholons latest paper on Digital Disruption: http://www.tholons.com/pdf/TSGI%20Report%202017.pdf

As if things aren’t gonna be hard enough, the BPO industry here in the Philippines is not evolving fast enough. The tidal wave of digital disruption is not something we are adequately prepared for.

Although we are #3 overall when it comes to countries in a position to continue to benefit from globalization, being one of the top countries is by no means assured.

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For the past decade its mainly been a battle between India and the Philippines, but China has crashed the party and a lot of Latin American countries are in hot pursuit.

If you are one who thinks the BPO industry here is gonna continue to see 20% year over year growth, then this slide should give you pause.

Why? Because although blessed with some amazing advantages for customer service, we aren’t currently optimizing our focus on digital transformation.

When you look at the next image, you see both Manila and Cebu have lost ground in the battle of global cities in the past year as well.

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Manila was #2, now its #4. Now is not the time to be complacent. We need to invest heavily in upskilling our BPO workforce to offer higher value chain services. We need to champion for strong DSA programs in the schools. And we need to make sure decision-makers are armed with the data they need to keep the Philippines on the cutting edge of globalization.

Thats why we have the AAP.PH and why we have launched Augment BPO.

17426122_1095825400562902_5936762267508985241_nAnalytics Leadership – DMAIPH is a founding member of the Analytics Association of the Philippines (AAP.PH) and specializes in arming the Data-Driven Leader with the tools and techniques they need to build and empower an analytics centric organization. Analytics leadership requires a mastery of not just analytics skill, but also of nurturing an analytics culture. We have guided thousands of Filipino professionals to become better analytics leaders. Contact DMAIPH now at analytics@dmaiph.com or connect with me directly to discuss a uniquely tailored strategy to ensure you are the top of your game when it comes to Analytics Leadership. #AAP.PHMoonshot

The Augment BPO Data Science and Analytics Advocacy Project (Augment BPO) is empowering BPO Companies, Executives, and Workers in the Philippines to prepare for and address the clear and present danger posed by Artificial Intelligence Chatbots (AI Chatbots) to BPO revenue growth and jobs through Data Science and Analytics strategy planning, awareness building and upskill training. #AugmentBPO

Top Data Science & Analytics Skills in Demand: 2017 vs 2022

One question I get asked a lot are what are the best skills to master for Data Science & Analytics (DSA) jobs right now?

Another question is what skills will be in demand five years from now.

With both questions, most of the ones asking are looking for specific applications or tools to learn. Often my reply is that it really doesn’t matter which tool or application you use as much as you get practical experience working with data.

My point is that job titles and technical skill sets come and go as technology evolves… what you really need to do is be in a place where your curiosity and critical thinking are continuously challenged. It helps to also be somewhere that encourages new solutions and has a culture that fosters innovation.

Not easy to find, but thats more important to me then what you learn now. That said, I still have to answer the questions with some sense of what to learn and master so…

Here are some of the top DSA skills needed right now:

  • Management Reporting
  • Advanced Excel
  • Familiarity with Business Intelligence Tools
  • SQL Coding for Teradata Databases
  • Transforming Data Warehouses into Data Lakes
  • Business Dashboards and Data Visualization with Tableau
  • Predictive Analytics with R and Azure
  • Predictive Model Building with SPSS
  • Data Storytelling

By no means a exclusive list… if you do a quick search of job posting for DSA professionals you will not find two job posts with the exact same requirements.  From where I sit, these are just the ones I see a lot.

When it comes to the future, I did a quick search and came up with this list…

Here are some of the top DSA skills likely needed over the next 5 years.

  • Natural Language Generation and Text Analytics
  • Human/BioMetric Analytics
  • Machine Learning
  • Prescriptive Analytics
  • Chat Bot Design and Maintenance
  • AI Virtual Assistants Design and Programming
  • IoT Sensor Analytics

Again… not even close to a complete list, but you can get a sense of where things are going.

Assuming most companies mature past the basic analytics phase and that we continue moving towards AI solutions at the current pace, there will be a lot of new analyst jobs out there with new titles. Data Scientists will be busy solving a wide range of data challenges that currently still seem like Science Fiction today.

At least that’s my take as of now.

It will change.

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The Augment BPO Data Science and Analytics Advocacy Project (Augment BPO) is empowering BPO Companies, Executives, and Workers in the Philippines to prepare for and address the clear and present danger posed by Artificial Intelligence Chatbots (AI Chatbots) to BPO revenue growth and jobs through Data Science and Analytics strategy planning, awareness building and upskill training.

The Automation Storm is Coming… is Your IT-BPO Ready?

The number of posts like this one that talk about downsizing in traditional IT-BPO firms are getting more and more common every day.

Some naysayers think statements like this are just hyperbole, “saw their aggregate workforce shrink by seven the same year, highlighting a situation created by a perfect storm of tough business conditions and increasing automation.” But not me. I’m preparing for it.

And then there is this statement… that can easily be talking directly about the IT-BPOs in the Philippines. “This is a war of many battles being fought where smart service providers are aggressively implementing RPA (robotic process automation) into their own operations to drive down their delivery costs and reduce their own headcount. Hence, services providers will be hell-bent on destroying each other and the winners will be those who eventually succeed in winning more work than they lose amidst all the destruction”

I would add to this nationalistic pressures to counter the flow of globalization and “bring jobs back home”.

There are plenty of signs on the horizon that will spell doom for companies that aren’t ready for the coming storm.

Which is where DMAIPH can help.

DMAIPH has successfully set up Filipino analytics teams for over a dozen U.S. based businesses. Offering both virtual and office based teams that specialize in problem solving using data, new technology and analytics techniques is our strength. Finding and empowering analytics talent is increasingly challenging, but we have mastered Surfing Into The Storm and can show you how to succesfully set up a team.

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The Philippines is at the center of the action when it comes to solutions to the global need for analytics. Blessed with a solid foundation of young, educated and English speaking workforce, companies around the world are look for Filipino analytics talent to fill analytics positions.

DMAIPH was set up to facilitate these solutions and bring the talent and the business together. And that is exactly why I wrote Putting Your Data to Work, the first analytics guidebook designed specifically for the Philippines. Contact DMAIPH now at analytics@dmaiph.com or connect with me directly so we can help you take advantage of this unique global opportunity.

 

Intelligence Gathering and Process Training in Manila

Another search term that someone used and ended up on my blog… wonder what specifically there are looking for.

I love intelligence gathering work myself. When I was at Wells Fargo one of my primary duties was to gather intelligence on others money transfer companies that compete with the bank for remittance market share.

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I was really, really good at it and had a lot of fun doing it. I’ve used that passion to help several clients since then.

Helping them look outside their business to start incorporating competitive intelligence into their analytics process.

To the best of my knowledge, no one has put together an Intelligence Gathering Process training for companies in the Philippines.

It sounds like something that would be really interesting to do.

Survey time to see how much interest I can generate.

Analytics in the Philippines – The Philippines is at the center of the action when it comes to solutions to the global need for analytics. Blessed with a solid foundation of young, educated and English speaking workforce, companies around the world are look for Filipino analytics talent to fill analytics positions. DMAIPH was set up to facilitate these solutions and bring the talent and the business together. And that is exactly why I wrote Putting Your Data to Work, the first analytics guidebook designed specifically for the Philippines. Contact DMAIPH now at analytics@dmaiph.com or connect with me directly so we can help you take advantage of this unique global opportunity.

Actionable Management Reporting

Except from my upcoming book on analytics for the small business owner…

One question I get asked a lot is what should someone do when they know the data they are reporting and/or using in their analysis is not the best data available?

  • Typically, Excel and PowerPoint are the primary tools used to provide management reporting to a company’s leadership. In the past few years there have been major technology innovations in business intelligence applications and data visualization software that have taken management reporting to a whole new level.
  • Recruiting has seen a huge increase in number and types of reporting tools available to deliver very fast and very detailed recruitment analytics.
  • This leads up to the concept of a business dashboard… which we will get to later.

No matter what part of the business you work in, the first thing to do is to define the current Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) being used in decision-making.  Often right off the bat, some of the KPIs being reported aren’t even being used.

You can do a simple survey, asking end users to rank in order of importance the KPIs they get. Also ask if the ones at the bottom are even useful or should they be eliminated if no one is using them.

At the same time you should be working on understanding what computations go into each KPI. Often we just do simple counts, total and averages that mask more important data. On the flip side, we tend to over complicate things with extravagant weighing and scoring. Either way, we need to make sure we know exactly what is being reported and how does the final data point come to its end state.

The next step is to look at the data architecture to make sure there is nothing happening upstream that might impact the data we are using in the KPIs. Before making changes to the KPIs we want to have the full view of what happens before the data gets to the end user.

Now we are at the point where we can start experimenting. What happens when we swap out data points? Or if we change a variable in a calculation? Or we pull the data from a different source? The questions are endless. Pick a few, make some changes in a test environment and start sharing the updated KPI data. See if it has more value with the end users.

Again, this shouldn’t be hard. But of course in many organizations a lot of consequences can result from a simple change to just one KPI. Spreadsheets may have to be reformatted, review processes may have to be updated, and dashboards may have to be redesigned. But in the end, what is more important? Making decisions with crappy data or setting a standard to let the reporting process evolve as the business evolves?

This come back to my point earlier, changing KPIs is as much sales as it is analysis… that you have to be ready to share a story, back it up with data, and really influence the minds of senior management that updating the KPIs makes good business sense.

If you are at a point where you are trying to figure out what KPIs aren’t working anymore or you need help in building a business case to change some KPIs, let me know. I’m here to help.

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Business Strategy with Analytics – Aligning a business strategy to drive an organization forward requires a robust analytics solution. Businesses who have good analytics tend to be much more profitable and efficient then ones that do not. DMAIPH has helped dozens of companies in both the U.S. and the Philippines with adding more data analysis in their business strategy. Contact DMAIPH now at analytics@dmaiph.com or connect with me directly to find out what we can do to help you align your business strategy with analytics.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Current Trends in Small Business Analytics

Analytics as a discipline is constantly evolving. Advances in technology allow what was once expensive and difficult to now be at the fingertips of any business user.  The goal of analytics is “to turn data into information, and information into insight.” -Carly Fiorina, Former CEO of HP

Fiorina, highlighted some of the key steps in analytics. Reporting turns raw data into information that can be consumed by a company, and through analysis you turn information into insights. Taking her comments one important step further, you need to turn insight into action if you want to progress down the path to value with analytics.

Analytics is constantly evolving, so staying current is paramount to success.

Staying current is all about being strategic in time management. I have to stay up to date on current trends in analytics as well as with new analytics applications and technologies. Besides just staying current for my own benefit, I share relevant updates with my colleagues, clients and followers.

Every few months I devote a day to discover what the current trends in analytics are. I do this both to refresh the slides in my presentation and to refresh my mind to see what I may have missed.

The amount of literature out there on analytics continues to blossom at an amazing rate, making it a true challenge to stay well versed on what’s hot and what’s not. I read a new analytics themed book about once a month and I have well over 200 blogs, web sites and social media groups cataloged. So I like to think I’m pretty well versed on what is current.

If I had to pick 5 current trends in small business analytics to talk about it would be:

(1) Picking a Good Business Intelligence Tool,

(2) Mining Public Unstructured Data,

(3) Mapping Your Business Data Environment,

(4) Centralizing Various Data Sources,

(5) Understanding Data Science and Big Data Analytics.

Every time I go to list the top 5 analytics trends, I find that some things change and some stay the same. Ever since I have been writing about analytics, data visualization is near the top. Business dashboards continue to be a big need. Business Intelligence (BI) tools evolve and new ones’ pop up, but Tableau continues to be a market leader.

Small Businesses who want to optimize the use of analytics need to start with finding a good BI tool to help them make sense of their business data. MS Excel is the most common option to get started with.

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Small Business Analytics – The field of small business analytics is just starting to blossom as companies are looking for more data-driven decision-making to prosper in the age of Big Data. DMAIPH is at the fore front of providing analytics training, consulting and outsourcing options to small businesses. Contact DMAIPH now at analytics@dmaiph.com or connect with me directly to set up a free consultation on how to get more analytics in your small business.

Fast Data is the New Big Data

Starting to hear a new buzzword for analytics… Fast Data. Everyone knows about Big Data that is growing almost exponentially.

It is coming to us in mind boggling sizes, from all across the Internet of Things and quicker then ever before.  The traditional 3 V’s of data (volume, variety and velocity) don’t seem to be enough anymore to describe the challenges we have before us.

SO now we are looking for Fast Data solutions, which means getting the right data you need at the right time with minimal delay.

The concept of waiting for reports to be pushed to you so you can analyze them is so 20th Century.

Now its all about being fast.

I can show you a thing or two (or a dozen) about how to supercharge your analytics by moving past management repots and even past business dashboard to start looking for solutions that get data to the decision-makers without any middle man.

Big Data is now Fast Data. Don’t get left behind.

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Join me this coming Feb 21 2017 for a Data Analytics Seminar in Ortigas where we talk about how to take your Big Data and make it your Fast Data.

DMAIPH specializes in arming the Data-Driven Leader with the tools and techniques they need to build and empower an analytics centric organization. Analytics leadership requires a mastery of not just analytics skill, but also of nurturing an analytics culture. We have guided thousands of Filipino professionals to become better analytics leaders.

To that end, DMAIPH offers a wide range of analytics centric training solutions for professionals and students via public, in-house, on-site, and academic settings. We tailor each training event to meet the unique needs of the audience. If you need empowerment and skills enhancement to optimize the use of analytics in your organization, we are here to help.

Contact DMAIPH now at analytics@dmaiph.com or connect with me directly to set up a free consultation on which of our DMAIPH analytics training solutions is best for you.

The Four P’s (Principles) of Marketing

I was recently asked how I apply the Four Principles of Marketing to my business.

The 4 P’s being Product, Place, Price and Promotion.

When I was with Wells Fargo, I spent a significant portion of my time working with marketing teams to help analyze market opportunity, assess market penetration, and to measure marketing campaign success.

I learned quite a bit about how to attach metrics to each of the 4 P’s to determine our strategy.

When it comes to product, the most common metric is sales. How many products have been sold and how much revenue that translate too is a cornerstone of any business plan.

It can be just important though to blend in analysis that is not reflected by internal data alone. Knowing how your product stacks up to the competition and what your customers are saying about your product are much more challenging data points to capture.

As for place, the general data point most business decision-makers start with is how much sales activity comes out of a location or geographic area.

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Place can also be reflected in marketing channel; in-store, direct, online, etc. Decision-makers tie this concept to market place and always look within that place to determine marketing plans.

I also like to add demographic data to place to help understand overall opportunity and trends in how the market place is evolving.

Price is much more than just what it costs to produce and sell a product. Marketing expense must also be counted in the amount ultimately charged for a product. Price usually contain several components that can be analyzed to make sure price covers expense and allows for profit.

Again, I look to competitor data to help assess if the price we are charging is optimal. As a rule, you don’t want to be too expensive or too cheap when your customers have a choice.

Finally, when looking at promotion, its more than just where you sell your product and what marketing materials your use. Using the right delivery channel and leveraging your company brand also factor into the equation and should have metrics attached to them.

So, as you can see, marketing is more than just counting products sold, finding a place to sell the product, setting a price and beginning a promotion. For a good marketing analytics strategy, that is just the beginning.

An effective marketing analytics approach should have at least 10-20 data points to more accurately capture the things you need to know like how big is your market, how competitive is your product, how deeply have you penetrated your market, and what delivery options are the most effective ways to promote your product.

The 4 P’s of Marketing can easily be built into a marketing analytics dashboard where you see your key performance indicators and make swift, decisive business decisions.

Since setting up my business about 5 years ago, I have helped dozens of businesses get a better handle on their 4 P’s using marketing analytics.

Let me show you how we can do the same for your business.

Business Strategy with Analytics – Aligning a business strategy to drive an organization forward requires a robust analytics solution. Businesses who have good analytics tend to be much more profitable and efficient then ones that do not. DMAIPH has helped dozens of companies in both the U.S. and the Philippines with adding more data analysis in their business strategy. Contact DMAIPH now at analytics@dmaiph.com or connect with me directly to find out what we can do to help you align your business strategy with analytics.

Where’s the Analytics? The Analytics Challenges of Malls in Metro Manila

I spend a lot of time in malls when I’m in Metro Manila.

Business meetings at coffee shops.

Staff meetings at restaurants.

Getting exercise why walking to hit my FitBit goal.

I see a lot of movies.

And I am not alone.

Malls are where everyone goes. To beat the heat, to meet up with friends, to conduct business, and of course to shop and eat.

Given that I spend so much time in malls, I think a lot about the analytics that can take place behind the scenes.

Or in many cases, the apparent lack of analytics.

Now don’t get me wrong. I love the Philippines.

The heart and spirit of the Filipino people is the primary reason I set up a business here.

But I do sometimes wonder, how much better things could be in my adopted home if there was more widespread use of analytics in decision-making.

The malls are full of great examples of decisions that are pretty much done without much data analysis.

At least that is how it appears to me.

So in this series of blog posts I will discuss several topics that come to my mind when being in a mall in Metro Manila and how I would go about using analytics to investigate my observations.

Analytics in the Philippines – The Philippines is at the center of the action when it comes to solutions to the global need for analytics. Blessed with a solid foundation of young, educated and English speaking workforce, companies around the world are look for Filipino analytics talent to fill analytics positions. DMAIPH was set up to facilitate these solutions and bring the talent and the business together. Contact DMAIPH now at analytics@dmaiph.com or connect with me directly so we can help you take advantage of this unique global opportunity.